Southport welcomed Prenton to Waterloo Rd on Saturday and dispatched them with a mammoth victory that had Southport’s President checking the archives.
Mike Smith reports:
Southport started with two tries off the set scrum; the first set up by number 8 Josh Critchley, whose pick up at the base drew the defence and put Jake Mann in the gap and under the posts. The second provided an opportunity for Jake McMullen to break the line before captain Joe Mawdsley in support pirouetted gracefully before finding Calum Monahan who unselfishly put Tom Smith in to touch down. The lineout provided the next attack, when a rampaging Sam Cross took play forward. This provided good ball for Dan Whalen to set the backs off, and allowed Tom Hill to come in and explode through the line before sweeping around the defence and finishing off. Even a Prenton put-in at the scrum couldn’t hold back the torrent of attacks as the Southport pack drove the opposition off the ball and after some slick hands from Mawdsley, it was Jamie Bailey’s turn to hand off several defenders before he was over in the corner.
Bailey was involved in the next, when his kick through invited Dylan Norbury to use his electric pace to be first to the ball over the try line. Bailey scored the next himself, after plucking a Prenton penalty touch kick out of the air and combining with McMullen before finishing an excellent score. And from the kick off, great hands from Cross and Smith allowed Bailey to do the rest and increase his tally. Keen to keep up the intensity, Mann set up the next try after a tap and go at the penalty allowed Mawdsley to show his pace in support to score under the uprights. Prenton continued to strive and were rewarded with a try shortly after when a lapse in the Southport defence provided a gap for Prenton’s blind side flanker to cross over. However Southport responded with the addition of debutant Charlie Attis, who was immediately in on the action, finding space for Whalen to cross. And three more tries were added before the break, courtesy of a Norbury run in-and-out of the defence, a powerhouse Smith drive for the prop’s second, and a Bailey solo effort. Half time: Southport 84 Prenton 7.
The second period saw a continuing of the one way traffic, with Norbury opening proceedings, breaking through the defence before finding Hill in support for the half’s opening score. Bailey was quick to get in on the act again too, profiting from a lovely offload from Monaghan in the contact to score under the posts. But the next try was a combined effort, when a well taken lineout on the halfway mark allowed the backs to execute a flowing set move to provide Hill with the space, which he ate up before feeding Whalen to finish a classy passage of play. And Hill was involved in the next try as well, cutting through the defence, this time finding Mann on hand to score. Another Bailey charge duly followed and this time Monaghan was in support to take the honours out wide. The score was most noted for producing McMullen’s first unsuccessful conversion of the day, having slotted 17 out of 17 up to this point. Soon Bailey was back on the ball, and this time his elusive running provided the opportunity for Hill to add the finishing touch. Not wanting to be outdone, the next try featured an excellent break from Attis, who, seeing the gap, broke free and charged to the touchline. A classy offload found Bailey, who had selected an unstoppable line inside, and the centre added to his total.
Despite the one way traffic, to their eternal credit Prenton refused to give in, and they produced a good spell of rugby, pressing Southport back, recycling well and starving the home team of ball. However, the visitors were unable to win their own ball at the scrum, and from the turnover, Critchley picked up and charged through the defence to ground the ball. The final try was fittingly a quality solo effort from Bailey, starting deep within his own 22 and ending up under the uprights for the centre’s seventy try, once again converted by McMullen. Final score: Southport 150 Prenton 7.
Graham Ellis comments “I'm scratching round the archives to check if 150-7 is a record winning score for the club. This is what I have todate:
1995/96 – The first team, captained by Roy Beetham won 69-0 away at Halton, then the biggest win in living memory.
1996/7 - Champions of the Thwaites South Lancashire and Cheshire Division Two. Hoylake were beaten 103-7 at home.
1998 – Newton-le-Willows beaten 119-0 at Waterloo Road.
2000 – On February 5th Ian Greenhalgh scores what might well be a world record for the number of points scored in a league game (I don't know the score) with 57 against Merseyside Police. Guinness Book of Records fails to respond!
2015 - Newton-le-Willows (again!) beaten 104-3 on 26th September
Can anyone add to this?
A word too for Prenton. They were a credit to the game enjoying spells of possession and territory which belied the score line and never threw the towel in or resorted to skulduggery. Unfortunately they came across a vibrant young team which hit the sweet spot, but I hope they will enjoy better luck for the rest of the season.”